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Project being piloted in 13 institutions in the district

A major transformation in healthcare delivery in the State’s public sector hospitals is awaited as e-health is all set to be rolled out at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH), Thiruvananthapuram.

This is the last leg of the pilot phase of e-health, the Health department’s ambitious ₹96-crore mega project for developing an electronic demographic data base and electronic health records (EHRs) of the population, alongside end-to-end automation of all government hospitals.

The project was being piloted in 13 institutions from primary health centres to the MCH in Thiruvananthapuram district in a phased manner, since the past one year.

The implementation of the project at MCH has been a different cup of tea altogether, as being a tertiary care institution, everything from the documentation of clinical details of patients to the level of networking and integration required has been entirely different from the requirements in primary and secondary care settings.

The project is being taken up in phases at MCH, starting with the processes in the OP block, to be followed by in-patient admissions, billing, discharge and operation theatres scheduling. Integration of all biomedical equipments like auto analysers, CT/MRI/Ultra Sound scanners will be next.

Once this is completed handwritten OP tickets will be stopped. Next to go on board will be the Casualty services, the Super Speciality Block, and the rest of SAT Hospital.

Training for all users, including doctors, nurses, para medics, pharmacists, lab technicians, radiographers and reception counter staff will begin in the next two weeks.

“This project will become successful only when we see it as a better health care story for the patient rather than as just an IT exercise. As doctors involved in designing the software, they must re-imagine their profession in the light of the latest available technology and convey the concept to the developers. For that purpose, we have adopted the Virtual IT cadre (VITC) concept of the State IT Mission,” says C. Jayan, Additional Professor of Surgery and Joint Director, e-Health.

Continuous activity

Software development is an iterative process and the refining or customising of the software to suit the requirements of some 30 medical specialities will be a continuous activity for years.

“A team of 27 selected doctors and three nurses from various departments were given intensive training at Technopark on basic e-governance principles, business process re-engineering, and the fundamentals of software development. It is this VITC group which is now giving us all the inputs for fine-tuning the software and acting as champions of the project in their respective departments,” he adds.

The response to the project within the medical fraternity and other MCH staff has been enthusiastic even as they are expected to do much re-learning to work in a different environment. Teething troubles and some confusion should be expected as doctors go through the learning curve.

But once stabilisation happens, all processes from queuing, admission to discharge will be better organised and doctors will have all information on a patient, including clinical history, lab results and CT/MRI images on their computer screens.

All wards will have WIFI connectivity with LAN and eventually, doctors and nurses will be moving around with tablets rather than a bunch of case sheets.

“GoI has mandated SNOMED CT to be the disease classification system and vocabulary for electronic exchange of health information in India. We are one of the first users of SNOMED CT in India,” Dr. Jayan says.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): C. Maya

Quelle/Source: The Hindu, 25.12.2017

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